Jordan Spieth tops field of 64 who have qualified for Dell Match Play

By Suzanne Halliburton
Published on
Jordan Spieth tops field of 64 who have qualified for Dell Match Play

AUSTIN, Texas – Welcome back to Austin, Jordan Spieth.
The former Texas Longhorn star came in at No. 1 in the world golf rankings that were released Monday. Spieth and the other top 63 players officially have qualified for next week's World Golf Championships-Dell Match Play at Austin Country Club.
The 64 eligible players have until 5:00 p.m. Friday to commit to the tournament or give up their spot to the next highest-ranking player. According to the PGA Tour, two players among the top 64 already know they won't be in Austin.
Sweden's Henrik Stenson, who is ranked seventh, has said he can't be in Austin because of a schedule conflict. Jim Furyk, who is No. 15, is recovering from wrist surgery.
With Stenson and Furyk out, Patton Kizzire (No. 65) and Thorbjorn Olesen (No. 66) will move into the field.
Kizzire's tie for 33rd at the Valspar Championship this past weekend helped him move up three spots from No. 68 to 65 while Olesen slipped from No. 65 to 66.
Eligible players have the chance to improve their seeds in this week in events worldwide heading into the Dell Match Play, with its top prize of $1,612,432. The total purse is $9.5 million.
So here's what will happen next:
When the updated world rankings are released next Monday, the top 16 players will receive a No. 1 seed – similar to the NCAA's annual March Madness – for the match-play event. During a bracket show later that night that will be broadcast live from the Paramount Theater by the Golf Channel, each four-man group of match-play competitors will be announced.
Starting March 23, the four players in each of 16 groups will face off in round-robin matches at Austin Country Club. The player with the best record in his group will move on the round of 16, which starts March 26. The quarterfinals will be later that day, with the semifinals and finals to follow on March 27.
Spieth, who won the Masters and U.S. Open in 2015, will be the crowd favorite at ACC and the player most familiar with the course.
The past two winners of the Dell Match Play – Rory McIlroy and Jason Day – are ranked No. 2 and 3 in this week's rankings. Bubba Watson and Rickie Fowler round out the top five.
Thomas Pieters was the only player to jump into the top 64 over the weekend, when he finished third at the European Tour's True Thailand Classic. Pieters' result lifted the Belgian – who starred at the University of Illinois – 10 spots in the world rankings from No. 66 to 56.
Here is the field as of now:
1. Jordan Spieth
2. Rory McIlroy
3. Jason Day
4. Bubba Watson
5. Rickie Fowler
6. Adam Scott
7. Henrik Stenson (will not play, schedule conflict)
8. Justin Rose
9. Dustin Johnson
10. Patrick Reed
11. Danny Willett
12. Branden Grace
13. Sergio Garcia
14. Hideki Matsuyama
15. Jim Furyk (will not play, recovering from wrist surgery)
16. Louis Oosthuizen
17. Brandt Snedeker
18. Phil Mickelson
19. Brooks Koepka
20. Zach Johnson
21. Carl Schwartzel
22. Kevin Kisner
23. J.B. Holmes
24. Jimmy Walker
25. Shane Lowry
26. Paul Casey
27. Kevin Na
28. Matt Kuchar
29. Marc Leishman
30. Byeong Hun An
31. Bill Haas
32. Andy Sullivan
33. Justin Thomas
34. Russell Knox
35. Danny Lee
36. Emiliano Grillo
37. Bernd Wiesberger
38. Thongchai Jaidee
39. David Lingmerth
40. Victor Dubuisson
41. Chris Wood
42. Martin Kaymer
43. Soren Kjeldsen
44. Billy Horschel
45. Ryan Moore
46. Kiradech Aphibarnrat
47. Matthew Fitzpatrick
48. Scott Piercy
49. Robert Streb
50. Smylie Kaufman
51. Jaco Van Zyl
52. Anirban Lahiri
53. Jamie Donaldson
54. Daniel Berger
55. Rafael Cabrera
56. Thomas Pieters
57. Charley Hoffman
58. Jason Dufner
59. Fabian Gomez
60. Chris Kirk
61. Matt Jones
62. Graeme McDowell
63. Lee Westwood
64. Marcus Fraser
Alternates: 65. Patton Kizzire; 66. Thorbjorn Olesen; 67. Ian Poulter; 68. Gary Woodland; 69. Ryan Palmer
This article was written by Suzanne Halliburton from Austin American-Statesman and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.